Do you have any advice on what I would need to do as far as filing for I-130 or would I just apply for change of status? 2 Answers as of May 08, 2015

I would just like to get some advice and guidance preparing for the marriage process to my US boyfriend. I am currently living and working as an au pair on a J1 Visa for 2 years. I have been here for 8 months. I am from South Africa originally. My boyfriend and I would like to get married but don't know what the process will be, and if I would be able to live with him legally after I finish my Au Pair program in September 2016. Would I be eligible to stay in the country without leaving during this process?

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Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
You can marry and stay in the US. The entire process takes only about 3 to 4 months from start to finish. Just consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before getting married. Sometimes the timing of the marriage makes the difference.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/8/2015
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
Generally, someone who enters the U.S. lawfully and with inspection, and who later marries a U.S. citizen, may complete the Adjustment of Status process in the U.S. (without having to leave) in order to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (to get a "Green Card"). The process involves a Form I-130 application and also a Form I-485 application (usually accompanied by applications for Advance Parole [a "travel document"] and for an Employment Authorization Document [an "EAD" or "work permit"], along with a full set of supporting documents. When someone has entered the U.S. with a J-1 visa, however, there are other steps that must be taken too, such as providing documentary evidence that the J-1 visa is not subject to the two-year home residency rule, or applying for and receiving a waiver of that rule. It would be wise for your fiance and you to engage an immigration attorney who, after learning all of the relevant information about you, would be able to advise about eligibility and represent both of you in the application process.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/8/2015
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